woman-1388690141HpCPhoto by George Hodan

Are you struggling to find the perfect anniversary gift for your wife? Avoid these presents that wives agree are the absolute worst!

1. Cash or a Gift Card? Don’t Bet on It

The gift of cash demonstrates a considerable lack of thought, and has the potential to offend her. Any present that even vaguely equates your wife with a paid escort will be poorly received! Gift cards can be a better alternative, but you should still avoid them. It all depends on how much the card is for, and where it can be used. A considerable amount (we’re talking triple digits here) to her favorite boutique is acceptable; the same amount for the local grocery store is not.

2. Exercise Equipment: Feel the Burn

If your wife has been complaining about putting on a few pounds, an exercise bike might seem like a perfectly reasonable present. Most women, however, will interpret this as a harsh confirmation that they need to lose weight. That message will also be conveyed if you buy her a gym membership, diet food subscription, or bathroom scale. Even workout clothing and new sneakers have the potential to hurt her feelings, so tread carefully.

3. Monogram Mistakes & Engraving Errors

Personalized anniversary gifts are thoughtful, sweet, and sure to impress…unless they’re done incorrectly. Imagine how disappointed she would be to discover the wrong wedding anniversary date engraved on her present! A misspelled name is similarly upsetting, so triple check your customized orders before you wrap them up. The absolute worst gift, though, is a personalized present that you re-gifted. If you must re-gift, inspect the item for monograms or engraving that will reveal your ruse.

tired-377438_1280Photo by Irina Gavrilonoka

4. Appliances: For the Home, Not for Her

Many a husband has mistakenly purchased his wife a food processor, toaster, or new washing machine for their anniversary. The problem is simple: these are gifts of logic, not passion. Functional presents tend to lack the imagination and romance that the best anniversary gifts have. Even the best of intentions – like a dishwasher so she can spend less time in the kitchen – come across as lackluster. Home alarm systems, tool belts, and car accessories tend to fit in this category as well.

5. Luxury Lingerie vs. Indelicate Delicates

The gift of lingerie is a delicate matter! Consider the item you have in mind…have you ever seen her wear anything similar? Are you completely sure that you know her size, measurements, and favorite colors? Is it a tasteful piece that covers more than it shows? The answer to all of these questions should be yes. Even if you’re sure she will love it, she might not love it as her wedding anniversary gift. If you buy her lingerie, it should be gifted along with a more traditional romantic present like jewelry.

Heart in Sand Framed Print

6. Cosmetics: Take at Face Value

A bottle of her favorite perfume is an ideal anniversary gift, but be wary of other cosmetics. If aren’t an expert on women’s skincare you might inadvertently give your wife a tube of wrinkle cream or acne lotion. You likely didn’t mean to convey that she is wrinkled or acne-ridden, but she could easily interpret it that way. Perfume is a better choice, because it’s more of a luxury item. Just be sure you don’t accidentally purchase the scent that your ex used to wear!

7. The All-Purpose Present Is All Wrong

Another common gift mistake is the all-purpose present. It begins with you finding a gift that a woman loved. Perhaps your mother adored a pair of pearl earrings or your sister raved about her monogrammed terry robe. So, thinking you’re being clever, you buy one of these for every other woman in your life. When your wife realizes that her mother-in-law (or worse, your secretary) has the exact same gift, she will be understandably upset.

8. What’s Good For You Isn’t Good For Her

Many guys begin their gift search with good intentions, but end up with a present that’s more suited to their own personality. You might, for example, genuinely think that she would love a new grill. After all, who could resist a top-of-the-line barbeque? Your wife will probably be able to resist it just fine – especially if you’re the one who usually does the grilling. Even worse, though, is the guy who knows perfectly well that the gift isn’t really for his wife. This present tells her that you are self-absorbed and inconsiderate.

9. Last Minute Gifts & Gas Station Goodies

Suddenly the big day is here and you’re sans present. A quick trip to the drugstore or gas station should do the trick, right? Wrong! You might be able to pull off a drugstore gift, but only if you don’t mind getting creative. Make a gift basket with silly toys, gift cards, and at least one nice item. The gas station or convenience store is even worse; your selection is likely limited to gum, candy, energy drinks, and magazines. If the mini-mart is your only choice, it’s already too late.


10. No Present At All: Not-So-Sweet Nothings

Not giving her anything at all means you forgot, or you don’t care. Hopefully you just forgot, which is harder to get away with in the modern era. Your cell phone and computer can easily send anniversary alerts, and many websites and retailers offer free reminder services. Admit your error, and then treat her to a whole day of romance as soon as possible. Make sure you remember the date next year; two forgotten anniversaries in a row can’t bode well.

The easiest way to find the perfect anniversary gift? Avoid anything on this list, and pay attention to the hints your wife is already sending. If she’s leaving catalogues open to a specific page, drooling over a bracelet in a store window, or always mentioning how she loves Hawaii…she’s trying to help you out!